There’s so much more I would do that I enjoy … if I were a boy.

In my quiet hood full of the fullest big matured trees that turn the night sky navy, tree-lined streets quiet without a peep, and dim-lit verandas (with no one on them), I would walk for hours in flip flops and a mug of tea, past nine, I would. But I do not because I am a woman, so I sit on my porch. You’ll find me reading under the bright LED under-porch lamp light, reading, and a fright scared as to what weirdos may be peering at me — or worse, none or any.

I would not hesitate to wake at 6:30 am and go to the mountain and hike, then swim naked on the beach by the sun’s sky at nine in the morning. Without a dog. And similarly, those nights where I dated a boy who cooked me steaks on a BBQ seconds from piste seven in the the forrest and our walk there — by moonlight: he could fend off monsters with his strong hands and crack a killer with those skate-ski thighs. Brute force, I was protected. But I wouldn’t dare go in alone. And I couldn’t kill the kitchen mouse like he did in the country home.

I would travel to Lagos, Nigeria … and try coffee that I don’t even drink in Morocco. Find out what the fuss is about in Istanbul. And definitely go to this New Zealand and sea kayak, and hike, and run, and swim in lakes and salt water, and go to beach parties and outdoor BBQs. I would try bars in L.A. and actually go out past dark for late dinners in San Francisco. I would cycle in Mauritius, and I would eat some dumplings in Shanghai.

And some women do it, and they are great. But do they do it alone, do they?

I see the older ladies in travel brochures on hikes in faraway places, and have always seen them on my mid-twenties travels across UK, Isle of Man and over to Ireland where I was scared of the drinking and driving and drugs and rough co-ed youth hostels. And I think, if Nature intends for my body to look and seem less fuckable through future-years menopause then I shall no longer be a target except to weirdos looking to off old ladies and by then perhaps it will be a blessing because who wants all that suffering in old age with the demented mind and broken body?

If I was a boy, I’d go riding hard on a Marin mountain bike in Marin not worried about my period, and I’d try surfing not worrying about my neurological brain fog nor weaker body that could see me crash down on coral reef, bleeding.

As a girl I find it challenging to find a man who is protecting without forcing co-dependency. I’ve seen what that looks like and in the end, I wasn’t even ordering my own tea.

But as a girl, I know what it’s like to be loved by a man who knows your strength and makes you push your limits, and tells you, that in contrast to his independence, his dependence on a woman who has taken emotional risks, gambled heart and healing, adventured in body and trekked her soul and sexuality to so many unknown and foreign masses, and who has travelled her brains far and wide, is not a weakness …

… and that it’s OK to say you don’t feel safe.